There’s an age-old saying that says history repeats itself, but this doesn’t always have to be true. There’s another saying that gives a bit more to consider about the importance of reviewing history, saying that those that don’t study history are doomed to repeat it. While it is certainly still dark, there is a silver lining of the saying that implies suffering the same fate of history is not inevitable. Study the past to see what went wrong, what went right, and the warning signs that were missed. Only then can it be decided what is the best path for the future. This is how to prevent another holocaust. Genocide prevention must include studying the past.
Genocide is perhaps the most egregious sin of humankind, yet a review of relatively recent history provides countless examples of the atrocities genocide has caused. Genocide is the systematic and purposeful extermination of an out-group (those belonging to a certain race, ethnicity, culture, etc.), usually enacted by a powerful governing body made strong by intolerance, totalitarianism, and a dominant group that believes they are unquestionably right. Genocide prevention is a vital task for modern society. When genocide is not stopped, it leads to a massive-scale slaughter of the targeted group–not just of individuals, but of the culture of the group itself.
Genocide prevention requires action, not passivity, as well as a participatory effort to self-educate. It calls for courage from citizens to publicly and loudly question discrimination and signs of intolerance of another. It requires individuals to recognize the value of diversity and to respect those who live differently from themselves.